I wanted to be a cowboy

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

I was 11, we were visiting my Grandma Linda in Indiana. It was August, and with August came the Antique Fair. A gathering of like-minded people, there to show off their tractors and horses. Little did I know that at the end of the week I would be wearing a cowboy hat.

My Grandma has a boyfriend, his name is Harry (I am not making this stuff up). Harry owns a bunch of horses. Anytime we go and visit my Grandma we go and visit Harry and the horses. That week at the Antique fair was spent with Harry. We walked around and looked at tractor equipment, horse stuff, and pigs. I went in as a young 11 year old city boy and came out a young 11 year old country boy. I wish I had a picture of the transformation. Imagine me on Monday wearing my new LA Gears, a Cardinals hat, and some shorts and a T. Now fast-forward to Friday, a cowboy hat, the same LA Gears (couldn’t get boots, you people think I am made of money) tight wrangler jeans, and a button up shirt. The thing I remember the most about the antique fair was that I came in as an outsider and left as one of the guys.

I never realized how much we try to adapt to our settings. Think about all the different surroundings you have been in, then think about who you were or what you acted like in those settings. I never put together the connection of how much we adapt to fit in. It is amazing how we can change who we are so that others do not notice that we are an outsider. No one wants to be the guy or gal that sticks out, the one that doesn’t wear the right close or have the right pair of toms on. What is it about our human nature that makes us want to be like everyone else. Why is it that 6 years ago it was cool to have a dell, now it is only cool for 65 year old women? We go through so much change in such a short time.

Do we ever truly find our identity? Do we ever truly know that this is who I am? Or is it all a fabrication? I thought I knew who I was, but it took three days for me to completely change the way I talk, walked, and chewed (I would chew big league chew at the Antique Fair to make it look like I had a big wad of chewing tobacco).
It is amazing that God has created each one of us in a very unique way but we continually try to be like each other.

Today I call all of us to find who we are in Christ. We can’t be the next Mark Drischoll, Carlos Whittaker, or David Crowder, we are who God has created us to be and called us to live.


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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • Andy Unnerstall

    I think about this subject a lot. How much of the face I present to the world is who I really am, and how much of it is just a show for my own entertainment? I do believe it is important to be true to yourself in any and every situation. The question is how far to take it. I was talking to my wife the other day about what Paul said about being all things to all men. I believe this is something I don't do enough of–I have a tendency to take on a "take it or leave it" attitude with regards to people accepting me for who I am. But Nicole made an interesting point, saying that becoming all things to all men sounds an awful lot like hypocrisy, and deceptive in a way. In other words, she felt like changing who you are in order to connect with people was akin to tricking them into coming to church.

    I think the solution is somewhere in the middle–being confident enough in who God created you to be and in the particular gifts he has given you to stay true to those, while at the same time adjusting the intensity of your presentation relative to the circumstances.